Toxic friends come in many shapes and forms. Most of us, if not all of us, have had a friend that’s turned out to not be an actual friend. Snake venom is toxic, but friends shouldn’t be. Friends are supposed to build you up and make you a better person, but this is not always the case. It can be hard to let go because you two share so many happy memories. However, if this person is a constant negative force in your life, then you should reconsider your friendship.
Here are some signs of toxic relationships:
1. More often than not, they are not there for you.
Life is busy, stressful and overwhelming at times. There will be occasions when a friend may not be able to see or hang out with you, but it’s not ok if this is a constant occurrence. If they are frequently ditching you at parties or canceling plans to hang out, you may need to re-evaluate your friendship.
2. They only talk to you when they need something.
It’s more of a one-sided relationship than an equal partnership. They might only call you when they’re drunk and need a ride home. Maybe, they only want to hang out when they need to print out a worksheet for a lab. These are a couple of signs that you’re being used.
3. They’re judgemental.
They criticize your every move. They give you a hard time for going home with someone or sleeping through a class. Good friends will give you advice when they think you need it. Bad friends will put you down, out of jealousy or because it’s not the choice they would have made.
4. They feed off drama.
They love spreading rumors and gossip, even about you. Looking for arguments and fighting over the smallest of things is second nature to them.
5. They are in crisis mode more often than they need to be.
Everything is the end of the world to them. They are in a constant state of 911.
6. They’re manipulative.
They are in charge of what party you’re going to that night, what alcohol you’re drinking or who you’re hanging out with. Sometimes it’s nice to have someone making all of the decisions. However, if they are making you do something that you don’t want to be doing that is not ok.
7. They are always the victim.
When it comes to fights, in their eyes they are never wrong. Taking the blame and seeing their own faults is not their strong suit. They are the angel and you are the devil. No matter what happened, it’s always your fault.
Of course, don’t rush into anything, but if you’ve been debating about having them in your life for a while now, maybe take a break from them.
At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own happiness. You have to do what makes you happy. If this means cutting someone out of your life, then that’s ok. Some people may find this selfish, but you need to put yourself first because no one else will.
Stop making excuses for the negative people in your life or feeling guilty about cutting them off. They don’t deserve you. When you are surrounded by positive people, you will be astounded at how happy you are without that toxic friend.
At the end of the day, it’s better to have a couple of great friends, then a lot of not so great friends. This is college. No one should care about who is considered ‘popular’ or who has more friends. Let’s leave the cliques and social ranks back in high school where they belong.
Brooke Martin can be reached at [email protected] or @bmartin471 on Twitter.